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Dom Joly: Review

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by Tony Collins (subscribe)
I am a freelance writer specialising mainly in health and education and living in Staffordshire. Find me on Linked In
Around the world with Trigger Happy TV creator
With global travel increasingly under threat due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, it is almost cruel to watch a show entirely devoted to one man's trips around the world. Dom Joly's Holiday Snaps, which came to the Tamworth Assembly Rooms on March 15, is entirely that - a collection of photos which the former Trigger Happy TV creator and presenter has taken on his many journeys over the years. Dom, whose original promotional poster was 'updated' with a face mask for the start of the show, told his audience that, for him, travel is about "pushing boundaries". His show is subtitled 'travel and comedy in the danger zone'. And there is no doubt that he has done that, with his travels taking in countries such as North Korea, Syria and Iran.

Dom Joly
Dom Joly in one-man show

Dom, who is embarking on his first UK tour for almost a decade, relies on a power-point to entertain the audience with his impressive globetrotting exploits and experiences. Not for him the 'ordinary' travel spots of the world. Dom asked fans at the outset if they remembered him from Trigger Happy TV, which involved a series of hidden camera stunts, and then promptly said he wouldn't be mentioning the show again. But, after Trigger Happy, he went to the BBC to make the six part series, World Shut Your Mouth, and that led to a clip of the classic TV moment when he set out to 'frighten an Eskimo' by creeping up behind him while ice fishing and banging a pair of cymbals together before running off. As Dom pointed out, "to this day, I wonder what he thought of it".

Dom Joly
The Trigger Happy TV creator presents his holiday snaps

Dom was subsequently 'let go' by the BBC, prompting a move to Sky where he made a couple of shows, one about growing up in Lebanon, where he attended the same school as Osama Bin Laden, and the other about different countries' drinking culture As Dom explains, he was six and bin Laden 16 at the time they were at the same school, so never got to mix. His love of travel, inspired by Belgian comic book character Tintin when he was a child, then led to Dom's first travel book, entitled The Dark Tourist. This included the author's continuing travel experiences, among them a visit to the Chernobyl nuclear disaster site in Russia, skiing in Iran, and a tour of infamous assassination places in America, including a large X literally marking the spot where President Kennedy was shot in Dallas. As Dom said about visiting Chernobyl, the risk from possible radiation was invisible, making you more paranoid, rather like the current threat from coronavirus.

Dom Joly
Dom in his former Trigger Happy TV days

The show ended with members of the audience being given the chance to ask any burning questions they might have, while afterwards he was on hand to sign copies of his latest book, The Hezbollah Hiking Club, which recounts his trek across Lebanon from the Israeli to the Syrian border, as well as reflections of his childhood growing up in Beirut.

Rating: 4 out of 5
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Why? Enjoy Dom Joly's travels around the world
When: Sun 15 March
Phone: 01827 709618
Where: Tamworth Assembly Rooms, Corporation Street, Tamworth B79 7DN
Cost: Tickets from 15
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